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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2004 Feb;63(6):635-46. Epub 2003 Oct 28.

Production of lipid compounds in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Institut für Biotechnologie, FG Mikrobiologie und Genetik, Technische Universität Berlin, Gustav-Meyer-Allee 25, 13355, Berlin, Germany.


This review describes progress using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism for the fast and efficient analysis of genes and enzyme activities involved in the lipid biosynthetic pathways of several donor organisms. Furthermore, we assess the impact of baker's yeast on the production of novel, high-value lipid compounds. Yeast can be genetically modified to produce selected substances in relatively high amounts. A major advantage in choosing yeast as an object for metabolic engineering is the fact that the lipid pathways in this organism have been described in detail and are well characterized. We focus on the de novo production of three major families of lipid products. These are: (1) sterols, providing some previously known and some novel applications as examples of the lipid pathway enhancement that occurs naturally in yeast, (2) the reconstitution of the biosynthetic pathway of steroid hormones and (3) the biosynthesis of polyunsaturated fatty acids, leading to the biosynthesis of different omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which do not occur naturally in yeast. We utilize the current knowledge and point out perspectives and problems for future biotechnological applications in the field of lipid compounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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